Saturday, October 25, 2008

Don`t Die in Guanajuato!

Here`s a cool shot of the market from above. You can see all the activity going on.
Sardines... Con limòn?

The estundiantiles in action.

The alley of the Kiss.

This is what they do to you if you die in Guanajuato and your family can`t keep up with the cemetery dues. They dig you out and put you on display!

Hello, I am in Guanajuato and here are some pictures. Without knowing it, I showed up on the last weekend of the Cervantino Festival, which is a huge art festival that young people from all over Mexico come here for. There are street performances, music, dance, and theatre stuff going on. Mostly there are 18-22 year olds roaming the streets all night long. It`s like Mexican Mardi Gras, without the mass consumption of alcohol and female nudity. I guess it`s not like Mardi Gras at all, except there are hordes of people running around in the streets. It is kinda crazy.
So I have been doing a lot of wandering around, looking at stuff. Last night I got caught up in this crazy tradition also that I didn`t know about. Apparently on the weekends, musicians with mariachi instruments and medieval outfits (you know, tights and poofy sleeves) gather up a crowd and lead them through the tiny alleys of the city. Everyone is singing along and they tell jokes in between. It was really fun, even though I coudn`t understand a word. These are the estudiantiles.
This morning I took a walk through said alleys and ended up at a lookout. You could see the whole city which is quite beautiful. The alleys are really amazing, too. People`s front doors open out into them, which I guess means that they can`t drive up to their door, which kinda sucks because everything is at a hill and in high altitude so it`s easy to get winded.
Then after that, I went to the mummy museum. People who are buried in Guanajuato often get mummified because there are so many minerals in the soil. You have to pay cemetery dues, and if your family can`t pay them, or if no one cares anymore, they dig you up so they have room for newly dead people. If you are a well-preserved mummy, you go into the mummy museum! If you`re not looking so great, they incinerate you. Cremate you.
As charming as Guanajuato is, I think I am done with all the late-night shouting and bursts of song. I am going to start making my way to Oaxaca city tomorrow or the next day.
I hope everyone is well. Blog to you later!


Albert, Simply Put said...

You mention the dead and burials, and so far, I've covered a lot of cemeteries here in Japan, and it looks like every plot has a home... ;)

Rocio said...

Hi Lleni!
Hope you are having a good time. I've been outside of that mummy museum... i had to have been 9 or so. All i remember was hanging out right outside (on some steps I think) with the lady... cuz i was too scurrred to go in!
have fun in oaxaca! make sure you try all the moles!

cassandra said...

Yay lleni! I'm so happy you're enjoying Guanajuato, it's one of my favorite places ever! I love the tunnels, and the mummies, and the beautiful colors! When I was there, I just missed the Cervantino festival and everyone said I really missed out. I'm glad you caught it!
When you go to Oaxaca, drink lots of hot chocolate at the choco shops! And take day trips to the town where they make alebrijes (the magical carved, painted animals) and to Hieve el Agua, the petrified waterfall!
Can't wait to see you in Cancun!

DAN said...

i heard you ran into autumn...small world, eh?

travelbug said...

i thought that the egyptians had the monopoly on travel adventures...

Cities I've Visited